Drink-driver crackdown success across borough

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Wigan is bucking the regional trend with rates of drink-driving in the borough falling thanks to a massive police crackdown.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) showed there were 645 arrests for drink-driving in Wigan in 2014-15, compared with 683 in 2013-14 and 772 in 2012-13.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed Wigan borough has been a hotspot for people getting behind the wheel when they have had too many drinks over the past few years.

But the force expressed satisfaction that putting extra attention on tackling drink-driving locally seems to have paid off but warned motorists thinking of breaking the law in this way that officers will continue to drive the figures down further.

Insp Susan Redfern from GMP’s road policing unit said: “Drink-driving poses an enormous danger and puts lives at risk, which why it is important for us to continue to bring offenders to justice.

“Although we tackle drink-drivers across Greater Manchester there has been a particular focus in Wigan as it is one of our hotspot areas for this type of offence.

“Over the past couple of years, all our traffic officers were issued with personal roadside breath kits, which has helped deter and disrupt more drink drivers.

“However, education is just as important as enforcement and we’ve held several events in Wigan in order to highlight the dangers of drink driving.

“It’s pleasing to see a reduction in the number of people being arrested but rest assured that our work does not stop here.

“Every time a drink-driver gets into the car they put lives at risk and we will not give up the fight until this stops.”

Despite the figures showing fewer people getting behind the wheel over the limit alarming incidents are continuing to occur involving drunk drivers.

Only earlier this week magistrates banned a 79-year-old woman, who was suspected to be over the limit but refused to give a sample, from the road after a terrifying incident in Leigh in which she ploughed through a shop window into a young boy.

GMP is also currently running a month-long crackdown on drink-driving to coincide with the arrival of summer and the football European Championships, as this often tempts people into having too much to drink and then using the car.

The force is publishing regular social media updates throughout the awareness drive using the hashtag #nonefortheroad